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Cavaliers open outdoor season with outstanding performances

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

uva track and fieldThe Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams combined to win 30 of 38 events during the program’s UVA Opener meet at Lannigan Field. The competition included the men’s and women’s teams from Bucknell and the women’s squad from Delaware.

Four Cavaliers won multiple events in UVA’s first regular-season home outdoor meet since 2019.

Senior Anna Jefferson (Warren, Mich.) took top honors in both the 100 meters (11.65) and 200 meters (24.01) while senior Khyasia Caldwell (Pocono Summit, Pa.) was victorious in the long jump (6.34m / 20’9.75”) and triple jump (12.71m / 41’8.5”).

Michaela Meyer (Southbury, Conn.), a graduate transfer from Delaware, was victorious in the 800 meters (2:06.20) and the 1500 meters (4:20.30) while competing against some of her former teammates. Meyer’s time in the 800m ranks as the sixth best on the UVA performance list while her 1500m ranks 10th.

On the men’s side, freshman Claudio Romero (Santiago, Chile) was the top performer in the shot put (18.47m / 60’7.25”) and discus (58.54m (192’1”) in his UVA outdoor debut. His top put ranks fifth on the Cavaliers’ all-time performance list while his best throw in the discus ranks fourth on that UVA all-time list and was the second-best by a Virginia first-year.

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 outdoor season because to the pandemic, the event was the first UVA home meet for Vin Lananna, the Cavaliers’ director of track and field and cross country.

“Terrific. It was just a terrific day,” Lananna said. “I was told it has been more than 690 days since UVA had hosted a home meet and it was great to see the joy in all of these student-athletes back competing today. The passion and enthusiasm of our men and women was evident everywhere.

“We had some truly outstanding performances and I felt it was a great way to start the season. It is early, and we’ve got a lot of work to do, but I was very pleased with the way our team competed today. It was also my first meet at UVA, so I learned a lot today. It was great to have track and field back on Grounds today.”

Notable Performances

Romero’s efforts were just part of an impressive day or the Cavalier throwers. Freshman Jacob Lemmon (Sanibel, Fla.), competing in his first hammer throw, won with a top mark of 66.15m (217’0”), the second best by a UVA freshman and the third-best throw on UVA’s all-time performance list.

Jada Seaman (Pikesville, Md.), fresh off earning second-team All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a 12th-place finish in the long jump, won the 400m in 55.48.

Kiera Bothwell (Springfield, Va.) won the 3000m steeplechase in a personal best time of 10:22.28 to move up to seventh on the UVA all-time chart.

Andrenette Knight (Morant Bay, Jamaica) had a personal best time of 13.94 to win the 100m hurdles

Rebecca Hawkins (Sidcup, London) won the high jump with a top mark of 1.73m (5’8”) while Maya Maloney had the best clearance (3.95m / 12’11.5”) in the women’s pole vault. That height ranks third on the UVA all-time performance list.

Freshman Maria Deaviz (Souderton, Pa.) had an impressive debut, winning the shot put with a mark of 16.15m (53’0”) that set a UVA freshman record and ranks fourth all-time by a Cavalier. Teammate Thelma Kristjansdottir (Reykjavik, Iceland) captured the discus with a top toss of 49.43m (162’2”) while Eva Mustafic (Zagreb, Croatia) helped UVA sweep the throws with a winning distance of 56.15m (184’2”) in the hammer throw.

UVA’s standout sprint trio of Brandon Outlaw (Moorestown, N.J.), Jordan Willis (Williamsburg, Va.) and Jay Pendarvis (Annandale, Va.) helped the Hoos sweep the 100m, 200m and 400m. Outlaw finish the 100m in 10.65 while Willis ran the top time in the 200m at 21.14. Pendarvis won the 400m in 48.41.

In the middle distances, Davis Young (Virginia Beach, Va.) captured the 800m with a personal best of 1:56.50 while freshman Conor Murphy (Providence, R.I.) bettered several teammates for the 1500 by crossing the finish line in 3:48.88.

In the hurdles, freshman Jeremiah Wilson (Salem, Va.) won his first race at Lannigan field with a time of 14.63.

Sam Young (Lewes, Del.) posted the best height in the men’s pole vault, clearing 5.10m (16’8.75”) while Ayende Watson (Baltimore, Md.) won the triple jump with a best mark of 14.27m (46’10”).

The Cavaliers swept the 4×100 and 4×400 relays to open and close the running competition. The men clocked a winning time of 41.03 in the 4×100 and won the 4×400 at 3:17.26. The women took the 4×100 in 45.70 and took the 4×400 with a combined effort of 3:46.70.

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